Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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Police Blotter: James' trial for second-degree murder begins Tuesday

Savona James is scheduled to go on trial here on Tuesday.
James, 22, of Phoenix, has been accused of second-degree murder in the death of an Iyanbito woman in July, 2014.
Kimberly Yazzie, 36, was found dead July 4, 2014, at transient camp inside of a tent located near Interstate Highway 40.
James became a suspect in the case when Gallup police received cellphone video footage two days after discovery of Yazzie’s body reportedly showing James kicking Yazzie in the head in Gallup July 3, 2014.
Although James lived in Phoenix, she and her sister were in Gallup July 3, 2014, to visit their parents, who were homeless but were staying on Gallup’s north side.
Gallup detectives received the video, which was taken by a spectator, shortly after they began their investigation into Yazzie’s death. It showed that Yazzie was unresponsive after James kicked her in the head. Later, Yazzie got up but appeared disoriented.
When Gallup detectives interviewed James on July 5, 2014, she reportedly admitted kicking Yazzie in the head and even said she suspected that Yazzie may have died as a result of her injuries.
That wasn’t enough, however, for her to be charged with Yazzie’s murder.
Detectives waited until the autopsy results were completed in November and once they were received, a warrant went out for James’ arrest, although police were not sure where she was living at the time.
Glendale police arrested James Dec. 8, 2014, after responding to a domestic violence call at the home of James’ brother. There, James’ uncle told the police that she had an outstanding warrant against her.
James’ trial has already been postponed once, but court officials, as well as officials for the McKinley County district Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that it is expected to go forward on Tuesday. The judge is Robert Aragon.

Sawmill woman gets probation
for child assault, abuse

ALBUQUERQUE — Bridget Wilson, 22, of Sawmill, Ariz., was sentenced July 16 in federal court to three years of probation for her conviction on assault and child abuse charges.
Wilson was arrested Feb. 10, on an indictment charging her with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and abuse of a child.
On April 15, Wilson pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on April 4, 2014, she assaulted the victim causing the victim to suffer serious bodily injury.
Wilson also acknowledged putting the victim, who was under the age of 18 years, in a situation that endangered the victim’s life or health.

Men who beat victim with sledgehammer, rock get time in prison

ALBUQUERQUE — Michael Benally, 31, of Littlewater, N.M., was sentenced July 16 in federal court to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his assault conviction.
Benally is the last of three defendants to be sentenced in this case. Benally and co-defendants Gabriel Largo, 28, and Joshua Largo, 20, both who reside in Crownpoint, were arrested Sept. 17, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging them with assaulting a Navajo man with a sledgehammer and a rock causing him serious bodily injury.
According to the complaint, the assault took place in the Crownpoint Chapter on Sept. 5, 2014. The three co-defendants subsequently were indicted Oct. 7, 2014, in a four-count indictment. Count 1 charged Benally with assaulting the victim and causing him serious bodily injury on July 30, 2014. Count 2 charged Benally, Gabriel Largo and Joshua Largo with conspiring to assault the victim by chasing the victim, throwing rocks at him, kicking him, and striking him with a sledgehammer on Sept. 5, 2014. Counts 3 and 4 charged the three defendants with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and assault with a dangerous weapon.
On March 27, Benally pled guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy to commit assault resulting in bodily injury and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Benally admitted that on Sept. 5, 2014, he and his co-defendants approached the victim who was selling firewood. When the victim ran away from them, Benally and his co-defendants chased the victim, threw rocks at him and knocked him down. The three men then hit and kicked the victim.
In his plea agreement, Benally admitted taking a sledgehammer from his truck and striking the victim in the legs with the intention of injuring and harming him.
Benally further admitted that at some point he handed the sledgehammer to Gabriel Largo who used it to strike the victim.
On March 5, 2015, Gabriel Largo pled guilty to a felony information charging him with assault.
Joshua Largo also pled guilty to a felony information on March 5, 2015, and admitted his participation in a conspiracy to assault the victim.
Gabriel Largo and Joshua Largo were both sentenced June 4 for their assault convictions. Gabriel Largo was sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release, while his brother, Joshua Largo, was sentenced to two years in prison followed by one year of supervised release.

Deputies seek info on male stalker

KACHINA VILLAGE, Ariz. – On July 30, at about 7 a.m., a 15-year-old female was walking on Ancient Trail, a paved road in Kachina Village, aware that a male who was wearing a colored hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head was walking approximately 25 yards behind her. The subject was walking two small-to-medium-sized white dogs, according to a news release from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
As she approached the Kachina Utilities building she took the Pump House Wash dirt trail. The subject continued walking on Ancient and passed the trailhead for Pump House Wash. Further down the trail the female realized the subject was now behind her again at about 25 yards.
She followed the trail to Kona, a paved road in the area of Highlands Fire Department Station 21. She continued east on Kona and at one point turned around to see the subject standing behind a white SUV and peeking at her. She took a video of the suspect with her cell phone. The female continued east on Kona and the male walked west on Kona towards Kletha.
Deputies are seeking to identify and locate this individual in an attempt to determine what his intentions were. Anyone who has had a similar experience or believes they may have information about this incident is urged to call the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at 928-774-4523 or Silent Witness of Coconino County at 928-774-6111. Deputies need your information, not your name.

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